Hollis J. Mason (1916-1985) was the first Nite Owl and a member of the Minutemen who formed as a "masked adventurer" justice league in mid-1939.

Starting out as a NYC policeman in 1938, he was inspired by Action Comics' Superman and the real life exploits of Hooded Justice to take up the life of a vigilante. Operating in New York City, Nite Owl was an "old school" crimefighter, stopping colorful criminals and going on to fight Axis operatives during World War II. Nite Owl was a "stand up guy"-- old-fashioned and idealistic--but not impractical or perverted, modeled most closely after Batman without Robin and without the gothic associations.

Nite Owl, 1939

Hollis Mason, 1985

Nite Owl retired from vigilantism in May 1962 and wrote his memoir, Under the Hood, which carries a double-meaning in that he was a masked adventurer and he retired to be an auto mechanic like his father before him. In Under the Hood, he detailed the lives of all his Minutemen cohorts and, most notoriously, accused the Comedian of raping Silk Spectre (Sally Jupiter) while exposing the less than flattering details of becoming a vigilante as well as the various scandals surrounding each of the Minutemen.

Amidst a rekindled hatred of vigilantes, Mason was killed by Derf, a Knot-top gang member, in a frenzied break-in after Nite Owl II (Daniel Dreiberg) and Silk Spectre II (Laurie Juspeczyk) broke Rorschach (Walter Kovacs) out of jail.

QUOTATION: "Real life is messy, inconsistent, and it's seldom when anything ever really gets resolved."